Think of the different ways you communicate with people when you speak to them: How you chat to a group of friends over dinner is different than how you speak during a business meeting. You change the way you speak and behave, depending on the situation.
Social media is no different, from the things you Tweet, to your status updates on Facebook. Whether you share an update or publish a post on LinkedIn. All these platforms drive different responses and you’ll get the best from them if you learn to speak the right language. We look here at some of the big platforms and how to get the tone right.
If you haven’t seen this already, let’s imagine you’re eating a doughnut. This is how it might work:
Facebook – I like doughnuts
Twitter – I’m eating an excellent #doughnut #goodfood
Instagram – Vintage photo of my #doughnut #jammy #toomuchsugar
YouTube – Footage of me eating/making a doughnut
LinkedIn – “My skills include sourcing the best doughnuts”
Pinterest – Look at all these images of doughnuts and pretty doughnut stuff
Now let's break it down:
FACEBOOK – I like doughnuts
Keep your posts interesting and don’t overload. Nobody wants to see your business swag cluttering up their feed with posts every five minutes. Usually it’s a good idea to separate business pages and accounts or groups from your own personal account, for obvious reasons. Keep your private life private. Use good images, or video, and post stuff that people will share without thinking twice. Make it interesting, and make it pertinent.
TWITTER – I’m eating a #doughnut
Twitter is pretty forgiving – you can post quite a lot and you’re unlikely to get on people’s nerves too much. Here it’s all about the hashtag, particularly when relating to a recent trending topic, or if you use a hashtag that’s related to your business or service. You’ll get a lot more engagement if you do this right, so put in some research to find the right ones. Avoid using your own made-up hashtags or long ones. They’re just pointless. Using questions in your Tweets can often encourage engagement too though. Get a dialogue going.
INSTAGRAM – Vintage photo of my #doughnut #jammy #toomuchsugar
Instagram is a literal snapshot of a real situation. It’s an insight into your world, so if you’re using this for work, make it interesting, and include any links that you want to highlight in your bio, not your post. Images don’t need to be polished or professional-looking like Facebook – this is a glimpse behind the scenes. Keep it real.
YOUTUBE – Footage of me eating a doughnut
Video is increasingly being acknowledged as an excellent conduit for social marketing. For businesses it can offer insight into how the company and its employees work. It’s an exciting opportunity to share practice and procedure. You probably wouldn’t post footage of yourself eating a doughnut, but you sure could post a film showing how to make the best one. And if you link your other social media channels to YouTube, you can create a real buzz around sharing, maybe even ending up ‘going viral’. Be creative here, but professional.
LINKEDIN – “My skills include sourcing the best doughnuts”
This platform is really coming into its own as THE business networker of the moment. It’s still clunky on devices and apps, but it can generate tons of traffic to your site. Create a killer profile, join the right groups, set up your own groups or ‘companies’ and make sure you dedicate a bit of time each day to this one and it will pay dividends. Also – do away with job titles in your profile. Put your skills in the ‘what you do’ bit. Nobody searches by job title, they look for the skills.
PINTEREST – Look at all these images of doughnuts and pretty doughnut stuff
Finally, Pinterest. This is a relative latecomer to the party but is increasingly essential, particularly for the creative industries. A one-stop mood board creator, it’s perfect for anything from events companies to photographers. It’s the creative equivalent of a drawing on the back of the napkin… “THIS is how I imagine the thing looking and feeling”. Share your vision.
Whatever your chosen platform, before you post, stop and think if your tone of voice is right.